GCHU in conversation with ‘Healthy Cities and Communities’ at the World Economic Forum

Dr Juliet Carpenter (GCHU Research Fellow) writes on her recent meeting with the Healthy Cities and Communities team of the World Economic Forum.

One of the key themes emerging from GCHU’s work with the Commission on Creating Healthy Cities (CCHC) is the importance of healthy eating for wellbeing in urban communities. This was a core discussion point at GCHU’s recent conversation with the World Economic Forum in New York on 25th February. 

GCHU Fellow, Juliet Carpenter, met with the Healthy Cities and Communities team of the World Economic Forum, to discuss overlapping interests and potential collaborations. The work of the Healthy Cities and Communities team has also highlighted the importance of poor nutrition and ‘food deserts’ as contributing factors in health disparities, that is, the existence of low-income neighbourhoods where residents have limited access to a variety of healthy, affordable and fresh food. 

In discussion with cities in the UK, the CCHC has highlighted the issue of poor diet as being fundamental to addressing health inequalities within and between cities. But as highlighted in the independent review for the England’s National Food Strategy published in July 2021, the issue lies both in food demand as well as supply. This points to the need for more affordable, as well as accessible, healthy food, coupled with the need to shift preferences away from unhealthy food choices (high fat, sugar and salt content) and towards more healthy food options. These and other emerging findings from the Call for Evidence and scoping review are currently being considered by the CCHC. Their report and recommendations, together with the accompanying Healthy City Toolkit, will be launched in Summer 2022. Watch this space for more information!